Many fliers want to escape as quickly as possible from the people they’re forced to travel with. This is especially true of my seatmates, who never join my impromptu Justin Bieber sing-alongs. I’m feeling too jet-lagged to write a proper transition, so let’s cut straight to the story of Linda Patterson, a bookkeeper from Fort Erie, Ontario, who took out a $600 ad in the Toronto Star in the hope of finding a man she encountered on a recent flight home from Winnipeg. The Star tells the tale: “They had watched each other surreptitiously in the airport lounge before boarding the plane, when he settled into a front row aisle seat. ‘That’s my favorite seat on the plane,’ Patterson, 39, joked as she passed him. ‘You’re going to have to tell me how you got that seat.’ ” OK, her flirting needs work. Later: “He was standing just 3 metres away, probably trying to say hello. But she didn’t have it in her. … The baggage carousel starting moving. The mystery man grabbed his luggage and left.” Ultimately, Patterson took out the ad—headline: “Can I have another chance?”—and included her phone number because she didn’t want to be left “wondering about what could have been.” I guess (and this is how the media have generally portrayed it) the story illustrates that in our world of instant communications, unbridled “friending” and seemingly constant contact, many people still feel starved for meaningful human connections. Or else Linda’s just a frustrated hoser, eh? Food for thought, either way.
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